A new personal audio docking system
Personal audio docking systems might not be the current rage, but there are people who want one and don’t know which to choose. Until recently, Sony was among the few companies that few choices that could accommodate Apple’s iPad, for example. Last year in September they officially announced the RDP-X500IP to the wider audience. This cheap device, costing $299, doesn’t look the part of a good system, but after buying it you’ll see that it actually delivers a good performance when comparing it to Sony’s previous RDPXF100IP. Curious for more information? Our review will gladly provide you with that.
Compatible with non-Apple devices
The Sony RDP-X500IP will arrive on your doorstep wrapped in a velvet cloth covering. The design of this personal audio docking system also features silver-colored metallic accents and the body is a rounded trapezoid with a stainless steel top panel offering housing to the following controls: Play/Pause, Power, Volume Up/Down and Audio In; the latter helped us when switching between non-iOS devices.
The black rear of the RDP-X500IP was rounded for the benefit of the built-in speakers and to ensure better stability when holding it; it also had a small connection area for the included power adapter, as well as a 3.5mm input for non-Apple sound sources. The back, though, wasn’t fully rubberized; the only rubbery parts were the feet which, when we played music with deep bass at high volumes, tended to move on the table, so bear that in mind if you want to buy this device. But overall the gadget was, during our tests, clean, simple and easy to use.
Not very fast buttons
The actual dock was hidden in a spring loaded drawer; ejecting it from the base of the unit was done with a simple slight push. The most important thing to note is that the Sony RDP-X500IP doesn’t require adapters, because the gadget is able to hold any of Apple’s iOS devices. As with all docking systems, the one we tested for our review sported a remote control, but it was a rather flimsy one; it boasted keys for Menu, Play/Pause, Up/Down (menu navigation), iPod and other such controls, but not for Mute. You should know that the Up and Down buttons weren’t very fast when it came to getting a fast response from them. We recommend you use an iPod’s touchscreen for a better response.
Free D-Sappli app
The first time we docked an iOS device into the RDP-X500IP we had to download a free app called D-Sappli that provided the following features: Music Play Timer (an alarm clock that let us choose what song will play at what time and when it will stop playing), four different clock screen styles to choose from, Brightness and Sleep Timer controls. This free application allowed us, when we tested the docking system, to use it as our main alarm clock while it charged our iPod touch, iPad or iPhone.
Good overall quality
Finally, here’s how the Sony RDP-X500IP did in terms of performance. The gadget is the perfect choice when you want to throw parties and you need something with heavy duty bass response. We encountered no distortion problems, even when we turned the volume to the maximum. This docking system made music from different genres sound equally good, enhancing exactly those parts of a song that needed enhancing to ensure a great atmosphere.
Overall, the Sony RDP-X500IP can easily compete even with the most expensive gadgets in stores today. It’s a good device that will save you your money. Just make sure you won’t place it on a glossy surface.
|Frequency Response||100 – 10,000 Hz|
|Output||15 W + 15 W + 30 W (at no more than 10% harmonic distortion)|
|Subwoofer: 4 ohms|
|Sound Enhancement||Selectable audio emphasis: Rock, Pop, Jazz, Vocal, Flat (via D-Sappli app)|
|Impedance||Satellite: 8 ohms|
|Input||1/8″ (3.5 mm) stereo minijack|
|Dock Compatibility||iPod 5th generation (video), iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod classic, iPod nano 3rd (video), 4th (video), 5th (video camera), and 6th generation, iPod touch 1st and 2nd generation, iPad 1st and 2nd generation|
|Docking Interface||Apple 30-pin connector|
|Sub-Woofer||3.6″ (9.0 cm) diameter (approximate)|
|Satellite Speaker||1.9″ (4.8 cm) diameter (approximate)|
|Power Source||Input voltage: DC IN 19.5 V|
|Total Weight||6 lb 15 oz (3.15 kg) (approximate)|
|External Dimensions (WxHxD)||15.9 x 7.0 x 6.4″ (401 x 176 x 160 mm) (approximate)|